Hear from our Intern — Gemma Smith

Name: Gemma Smith
School: Pennsylvania State University

What are you studying in school? How have you applied your studies to your internship?

I am a rising senior at the Pennsylvania State University, graduating in May 2014 with a B.S. in Marketing and a B.A. in Advertising. My IBM internship has given me endless opportunities to get involved in all aspects of the advertising industry, from briefing to production, and has shown me not only the traditional approach to advertising that you learn in school, but also the future of communications, and how the industry is shaping itself to meet consumers’ needs.

Tell me how you’ve been using social media tools to help your IBM team.

Social media is becoming much more prominent in today’s world, and there are constantly new platforms emerging to allow you to interact with consumers online — in turn changing the way people interact with media and technology, and therefore, brands. People are very aware of when they are being marketed to and they don’t want to be talked at, but rather be a part of the conversation.  I’ve been working with my team to help them tell the IBM story, and provide an experience that meaningfully engages the consumer. Consumers are talking about everything they encounter and are constantly sharing their experiences with friends, so if you tell the right story, in the right way, you are destined for success.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

Without a doubt, the greatest advice I have ever received is from my parents. It’s not necessarily something they told me, but rather a philosophy they taught me: “Roots and Wings.” They showed me that the best things you can gain in life are roots to feel secure, and wings to fly. Life is built upon beliefs and aspirations, and nothing great can be built without a solid foundation. With this they taught me to constantly take risks to see how much I can achieve. This “Roots and Wings” approach is the same philosophy that I believe defines the advertising industry. Every good campaign needs to be rooted in facts and research in order to be able to stand alone and make sense. However, once it is stable, it needs to have wings so that it may fly to new heights.

Gemma Smith
Gemma Smith

This content first appeared on Smarter Planet page on Facebook, and was republished for IBM Jobs Blog

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